Allstars: Honor or Necessity, Pleasure or Pain ?
On, July 14th, 2009, the MLB Allstar Game will be played at Busch Stadium , St. Louis, MO. We will be celebrating the “80th Midsummer Classic”. This is the so called half way point of the season. Will the half-way leaders in the American League (Detroit, Boston & Texas) be there at the end? What about the National League? Will the Phillies, Cardinals and Dodgers hold the fort? What player moves are going to be made that can impact the balance of power? But that is the beauty of the Allstar weekend. A break from the action and stress of winning. Just an exhibition of the fan’s favorites playing a meaningless game and entertain the masses. Right? Wrong as wrong can be.
First, the fans only have part of the vote. Used to be only the fans picked the players. Then the players that felt wronged by not being picked, complained. So now we have the fans, the players and the managers picking the squad. THEN, there is the extra man vote that the fans are given a chance to vote from a limited selection of players online to fill one extra spot. My feeling is this. There are still players that complain that they were left off the roster or got picked for the team. They wanted a break and to see their family for a couple of days. Hey, Mr Money, it does go with the territory. Your talent landing you a spot as an Allstar and then complaining that you are, is like Santa liking children, but complaining that the little rug rats mess up his pants by sitting on his lap all day.
Why the system of picking players was changed is one of the saddest commentaries I can make. The fans pay allot of money to see a game. If they pick players not deserving, so what? It’s who they wanted to see. Since it is only an exhibition game, who cares? But wait! It no longer is just a meaningless game, is it? A few years back, the commissioner decided that the winner of the Allstar game gets to have home field advantage in the World Series. If you are a warm weather team, you’ll want that advantage if you make the series. Plus, players play longer than they should as the managers play to win. They will not substitute as freely so the fans get to see all of the talent. Some players won’t play or make a token appearance as a defensive replacement.
So, why try and please everybody? First, they tried and please the fans and players complained. Then they made up new rules and players got a vote , so the fans complained and still select players did too. Then this silly final man online fan’s vote has managers Joe Madden and Charlie Manuel complaining. Try to please everybody, please no one! What chaos. Maybe the best thing to do is have the fans and sportswriters vote.So what if it leaves off some players with good stats? It wasn’t any different this time anyhow. Ask the Tiger’s Miguel Cabrera or the Ranger’s Adam Lind how they felt not being picked!
Anyhow, after the votes are tallied, just honor the chosen players with a public announcement, and award a free trip for them and their families. No all star game for the pros. However, let the minor league’s, “Futures Game” be the show case event. Those are the young and hungry guys anyhow. They will play in the prime time spot light and earn some plaudits for their hard work. Everybody is happy. Fans still voted and had final say, the MLB pros get a real break and spend quality time with family, the kids play in a huge event, prime time and in a major league stadium in front of millions.The umps would be Triple A level and serve as a reward to that elite group.
See, it can be an honor and not a necessity for the players. It can be a pleasure and not a pain for the fans to watch.Extra revenue is still being made by those who make it. The pros are let off the hook for three days, but still enjoy the honor of recognition. That is not a bad idea if I say so myself. Alas, we shall dream on, but tune in to the game next Tuesday. Cheer your favorite player on. Remember, when all is said and done, it’s only a game.
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